29 Dec 2012



From: Woodendot

Led by Daniel García, product designer, and María José Vargas, design engineer, Spanish company Woodendot have made this beautiful lamp, "Ka". They specialise in sustainable craftsmanship and this series of lamps embody their philosophy of materiality, handcraft and attention to detail. The Ka comes in several sizes, but I particularly like this desk lamp, the smallest available.

The body is made of beechwood with a concave base fit as a little tray for small desktop objects. The head is a lacquered metal lampshade, available in black or white, and it has a layer of cotton fitted at the top to elegantly diffuse the upward light. Finished with leather detailing and textured cable, the S table lamp is just brilliant in both its aesthetics and its values.

26 Dec 2012


Fast becoming a tradition, my friends and I had a feast of a Christmas lunch yesterday for the second consecutive year. I'm not one to brag, and I know many people have lots of food on December 25, but trust me when I say we had LOTS of food. A £160 grocery shop for five people is what it took to pull off this massive meal. And pull off we did, it was fucking delicious.

The main dishes included chicken in a pork joint and duck inside turkey, each wrapped in bacon and filled with stuffing. Sure it doesn't sound all so great for our arteries but they were exquisite. We weren't short on vegetables either with butter sautéed root veg, asparagus, salad and my personal favourite, brussel sprouts. Enjoyed with some ginger beer, good wine and mulled cider, it was quite the satisfying lunch. It may be stuffed appetites and pounding heads this morning, but for sure it was worth it. Merry Christmas.

22 Dec 2012


From: adidas Football


There was a standout update in the latest Carnaby newsletter I received, namely a new steak place on Beak Street had just opened. Pushed as tasty and affordable, I had to give it a go and soon! Luckily for me I have a friend who would prioritise a steak meal over anything else in his life. I think I'm serious.

Anyway, we had the pleasure of visiting on Friday and we were not disappointed. Serving a sufficient portion of Butler's cut for a flat rate of £10, accompanied by a cute baby lamb leaf salad, it was so very on point. Salt and pepper was all the seasoning I needed, the meat tender and rich. And, taking full advantage of the trend in rustic style dining and the independent store boom, it was an excellent experience, all from the friendly service to the traditional tableware, not to forget the complimentary dripping flavoured popcorn. I'm no food critic, but the point is I loved it. As a tip, order yourself the roast aubergine side dish with your steak!


Ricky Gervais' new series "Derek" will be coming soon to Channel 4 and this trailer is our first look to the fully commissioned programme. The test episode from earlier on this year touched us all with Derek's heart-warming character, in a show that attempts to highlight wonderful spirit and community culture within Britain's common, often mundane environments. I thought it had been portrayed beautifully and I'm really looking forward to the series. Plus we get to enjoy more of Karl Pilkington's debut in acting.

19 Dec 2012


Living at home for the moment, my bedroom-cum-study has a new accessory. Well, it's not actually that new, I bought my shelf from Muji a few months ago but never put it up. Until this week that is.

Perfectly easing into a little space beside my pre-existing shelving unit, it's added some much needed storage flexibility, which I've taken full advantage of. Books, magazines, CDs, sweatshirts and lamp have all found a new home as my room takes an ever-so-slight revamp.


She & Him released their Christmas LP in 2011, a collection of festive classics in true She & Him quirk and style. One year on, the track "Baby, It's Cold Outside" gets this comical animated video as Zooey Deschanel lusts over M. Ward up in a snowed in cabin.

18 Dec 2012


Here we go, the shirts have arrived for Winter '12 just in time for Christmas. As part of our Private Stock release (following the earlier Mainline drop) we're very proud of these two, both handcrafted by our artisan tailor to a slimmer fit than last year's shirt debut, with very limited numbers. One is a thick white oxford and the other in an even thicker wool flannel. Each comes in our favoured raglan sleeve pattern, finished with club cutaway collars, tapered front pocket and gold labelling. They each come with their own hints of detailing too.

The lookbook was shot on a crisp winter's morning in London's Hyde Park with a good man Kalaho Mayombo. There'll be one or two more items yet to come for the Private Stock range, which we've worked very hard on and thus should be just as excellent. In the meantime, you can find our shirts online. Thanks.


I was lucky enough to be one of the 500 Games Makers selected to attend the star-studded celebration of an absolutely incredible year of British sport that was of course BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012. And I was fortunate to be seated at the front of my block too, and I've been told my face may have been spotted on the televised screen a few times.

More importantly than my personally experience, however, is to note that it was the perfect way to end such a superb sporting year that was inevitably Olympics-centred. I thought it had been just the right amount of time since the spectacle to again reflect on what happened and to feel the emotion once more. The VTs did an excellent job to well me up on almost every occasion as we were taken through the wonderful stories and moments. I absolutely loved it.

And to be in the same room as such incredible people, and so many of them too! I've never properly watched the show before, but as soon as the Olympics ended, I've been excited for this year's. With so many worthy sportsmen and women from across such a varied range, it was never going to be easy. It was quite simply a joy to have been a part of.


One more thing on The xx, they've just released this mini documentary type video with Pitchfork. The trio offer a brief insight into their work and it also features special performances of "Fiction", "Angels" and "Tides". Definitely worth watching.


The xx paid a visit to BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge yesterday morning. I missed it live but it's been talked about enough to catch at some point. They performed their second track off the new album "Chained", which was as expected nothing short of brilliant. But then they played the most unpredictable of Mystery Covers, choosing the seasonal classic "Last Christmas" by Wham! The video is up at the top, what do you think? You can watch the full set here and also download the cover audio for free here.


Monkey Majik. They've been around for 12 years and have been one of my favourite bands for a similar length of time. The group are based in Japan, enjoying success in the industry over there with lyrics bouncing back and forth between Japanese and English; they're formed of the Plant brothers from Canada, Maynard and Blaise, plus two Japanese members on rhythm, DICK and tax. I introduce them now as they've just released a collection album "ENGLISH BEST" this month, packed with their hit tunes over the years, each re-recorded in English only, therefore making it more approachable for music fans worldwide. And a fan you should be, because their sound is wicked.

For the first 5 years, they were one of the standout indie musicians coming out of Japan, for which they were rewarded with a mainstream record deal to release their first major album "thank you" in 2006. And now, five original LPs later, they're still making music together, drifting in and out of rock, jazz and folk elements to produce a genuinely cool, chill-out pop sound.

The guys live and work in Sendai, north-east Japan, where of course that disastrous earthquake and tsunami hit in March 2011, which destroyed their homes, studio and neighbourhood. It's clear that it was a pivotal point in their careers as artists, the event's detrimental effects shaking them to the core. They spent months volunteering to clear the rubble and to this day, the band are ambassadors for change and rebuilding in the area, giving their music more value and meaning than ever before. I've never met them but they seem like such wonderful guys and their songs are a joy to listen to. This new album is the best way to recommend them to you.

Monkey Majik "ENGLISH BEST" (2012)

16 Dec 2012


From my special friend and colleague, I'm blessed to receive this wonderful gift. A good pair of brogues has been on my wishlist for a long time and I can hardly contain my delight. I got him that nice bit of ceramics for his birthday last month, but he's completely outdone our gift-giving with this beautiful pair of Grensons. I wore them out yesterday and damn they looked good...

Thanks Edward.


From: Chelsea FC

Yeah, nice one Rafa. Doesn't really deserve a posting to be honest.

15 Dec 2012


This was lunch yesterday. Went out to a good local Taiwanese restaurant with my mum, having missed the last day of term thanks to a fat ass hangover.

All because of the night before, in which the JFC coaches and I had a wicked evening out. The occasion - saying goodbye to another member of the team, as he flies out to Hong Kong for his next footballing venture tonight I believe, after six years doing what he does best with the children at JFC. The evening was also to celebrate Christmas together I suppose, and what a celebration it was too. Beer and chips at Belgo in Camden, followed by a nice Italian dinner next door at La Porchetta, before embarking on a couple of bars and ultimately Jalouse in central London. That's kind of all I remember, just a good night out with good company.

And in the same spirit, I wanted to enjoy the delicious dim sum delicacies at Leong's Legends, but my stomach was not having it. Next time, huh.

14 Dec 2012


Something fortunate always seems to happen whenever I turn on Radio 1, and for sure it was fortunate that I tuned into this exceptional Live Lounge session. Ben Howard performed five glorious arrangements, the first artist to play in the newly developed Live Lounge studio. He covers one of my year's favourite tracks, the awesome "Figure 8" by Ellie Goulding, as well as tracks from his debut album and most recent EP. The full 30 minute set is available for a limited time over on the Radio 1 website, which I definitely think is worth treating yourself to.

9 Dec 2012


The final instalment of Sigur Rós' Valtari Mystery Films series was unveiled this week, film #16 directed by Floria Sigismondi. Starring some famous names in John Hawkes and Elle Fanning, the short film features tracks "Dauðalogn" and "Varúð", portrayed through a beautifully shot story of a ballet-dancing girl and her troubled father. The cinematography is just wonderful and it's such an engaging piece of video. I've watched it a few times now but I find it intensely gripping every time. It just might be the best of the series. The ending, by he way, is bizarre; fittingly climactic with the music's final crescendo.

It's a series, initially set out as an experiment where independent artists were each commissioned to interpret the music however they liked, that has now been confirmed to be released digitally and on DVD in the new year. This weekend, they've even been screening at all kinds of places across the globe, after previously being presented at London's BFI Film Festival in October. It's been a unique movement for the stunning album that came out 7 months ago, one that's been inspiring to follow with some fascinating outcomes by the various filmmakers, and it's a digital purchase that I'll happily be making come February 5th.


Friday saw my latest university design project come to an end after a gruelling few weeks. We're pretty pleased with the outcome and I feel very proud. But it also means I've not slept in like a week and bedtime cannot come sooner. There's just one more week of class before the winter holiday, during which other work will get a better chance to fill my hours.

This morning, we held our annual Christmas Festival at JFC, which involves some fun games for the children, straying slightly from our usual high-intensity training, followed by some good matches of course. We had a laugh, they went home with Haribo in their hands, and now I have an evening to rest and do almost nothing. Not before updating this Blog though, clearly...

(The photograph is from my family home's front window. Mum having some fun.)

5 Dec 2012


Completing the trilogy of films directed by Fleur and Manu, for M83's exceptionally good album "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming", comes the video for "Wait".

"The end point of this great visual collaboration that has been ongoing with M83 throughout 2012. We felt it was important to re-connect with a meaningful subject that would have an echo in today's world. The promise of a new cycle, seen through the kid's eyes."

Said to be an album written and recorded with cinema soundtrack potential in mind, the sounds that Anthony Gonzales' band create really take you on a rich journey of emotional sensations, and it's truly one of my favourite and most recommended albums of 2011. 2012 has just about seen the visualisation and coming-to-life of the music in a fascinating manner. The first two videos of the three, "Midnight City" and "Reunion" are also viewable below.

3 Dec 2012


Celebrating its fifth anniversary, Apartamento magazine issue 10 is on sale now. Consequently it's in my hands now too. There's something about the way in which the publication is put together, its unique approach to presenting words and photographs that is really attractive for the reader; it celebrates individuality and provides an insight into very personal accounts of home living that is strangely relatable. I feel that there's so much love and care that goes into the topic and thus into the magazine, that it actually appears care-free, in a wonderful way of course. A much recommended quarterly indeed.